DD2 3years, SN opening door at nursery.

(21 Posts)
AnaIsAlwaysShocked Wed 29-Aug-12 11:26:41

My DD2 has various issues but has been doing well at nursery. She's due to increase to 3 days a week as we get the 15 hours free funding.

I was talking to her key worker about increasing her hours slowly and she told me that one of the staff on one of the days wasn't happy to have DD2 as she's opening the door. This is news to me 1) her extra days has been booked in months ago 2) I've never been told she's been opening the door.

DD2 is very tall and above the 98centile at 3 years 4months. she struggles to understand that she can't do something if she's already done it and has very repetitive behaviour. So its likely she's been told by another child to do it and now does it out of repetition rather than actually wanting to do it. She wouldn't think to do it herself.

The handle on the door is my shoulder height, so high but not out of reach to most average sized 4-5 year olds in the same room. It leads to another door with the same type of handle to the kitchen and a slightly harder to undo door to the entrance area then a push door to the outside.

So in my opinion this is dangerous and while DD2 shouldn't be going to the door, it should be out of her reach. I think they should be changing the height rather than excluding DD2 for 1 day that 1 member of staff sees it as too much trouble.

Also I should have been told after every 'escape' attempt. While I don't think she would escape a 3 year old getting out is dangerous especially as DD2 doesn't understand risk.

I was talking to another parent that basically said that this proves the nursery wasn't suitable for DD2 because of her SN and I should be removing DD2 rather than them solving the door issue. But I don't think DD2 SN comes into it and its dangerous for any DC.

So is it DD2 or the door that is at fault?

OP’s posts: |
InMySpareTime Wed 29-Aug-12 13:08:30

I think it's the key worker's problem. Settings have a duty to ensure the safety and inclusion of all children in their care, if a staff member is unable to do this, it is the staff member that should leave the situation, not the child.
Your DC should be adequately supervised, then the door "issue" would no longer be an issue, as it takes a certain level of inattention to allow a DC to get through three doors, have a word with the manager to see what measures the nursery will take to ensure the safety of your DC.

NatashaBee Wed 29-Aug-12 13:16:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TiggyD Wed 29-Aug-12 14:00:47

The nursery premises have to be safe. Not just safe for most children, but for all. They need to change their doors.

OpheliasWeepingWillow Wed 29-Aug-12 14:08:17

I think that the special needs are incidental to the fact that a tall 3yo can open the door! A bar lock at adult eye height costs about a fiver. They need to be less weird about their doors and a bit more proactive about safety.

AnaIsAlwaysShocked Wed 29-Aug-12 14:41:55

Previously DD1 learnt the combination code for the door that splits babys from the 2+. She was there all of a few days and memorised it (it was a simple 123 type code) as they were keying it in and then got a chair and undid the door. She is very bright and likes to test things but no longer goes to the nursery (school in sept).

Key worker joked that we all know combination coded doors don't stop my children so nothing they can do will help hmm She has SN remembering her own name is a problem she isn't going to learn a combination code like DD1 and there is lots of other options.

I'll be now booking an appointment with the manager to tell them how unsafe the door is for any child. Key worker seemed to think that the door or the other member of staff refusing to have DD2 because of the door wasn't the problem and nothing would be done though.

OP’s posts: |
insancerre Wed 29-Aug-12 19:00:18

The nursery may find themselves falling foul of the equality act if they are are excluding your daughter because of her additional needs. Which it very much sounds like they are doing.
They need to make reasonable adjustments so that she can access the provision she is legally entitled to. Changing a door lock is a very rasonable adjustment to make. It's not going to cost very much money and can be done easily.
The staff member involved needs extra training.
Why is it just a problem on this extra day and not the others? If it is bcause it is too much trouble then she is in the wrong job.

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jelliebelly Wed 29-Aug-12 19:04:38

Shouldn't the door handles all be higher? At my daughters nursery I have to reach up for the handle - I guess it wouldn't stop anyone with a chair though. External door also has a buzzer well out of reach.

AnaIsAlwaysShocked Wed 29-Aug-12 19:28:27

The extra day thats a problem is when her key workers day off. This other member of staff is then incharge of her age group.

My secret feeling is that this person doesn't want to care for my DD2 as she still wears a nappy and this is her attempt to not have her without using her SN. obviously changing a nappy of a 3 year old hypermobile child that doesn't understand you fully is alot different to a normal nappy wearing age baby. When DD first started going she made lots of comments about her potty training, not changing her nappy and had to be pulled up on it by management.

I have always felt that this person didn't like DD2 and her uniqueness. But have never changed nursery as all the other staff seem to communicate with DD2 really well and she has got on well with the other children.

I will be asking for them to raise or alter the handle. I just don't feel my DD is the issue and shouldn't be treated as an escaper and stopped from going somewhere she enjoys.

OP’s posts: |
insancerre Wed 29-Aug-12 19:32:50

In that case then you rerally need to speak to the management and tell them how this persom nakes you feel.
I am so sad to read your post- I work with pre-school children in a day nursery and have looked after many children with additional neds- I rreally love it becayse it is such a feeling when you know you have made a difference.
This person's attitude really stinks and she is giving us hardworking, caring, nursery workers a bad name. Please raise this issue with the manager.

AnaIsAlwaysShocked Wed 29-Aug-12 19:51:42

I know most of you are, people like you have changed my DD2 beyond what we ever thought possible. She's more sociable, can make herself understood abit and has friends all thanks to 1 day a week for a year at nursery.

I tend to be very sensitive about her so the thinking she can't go because of a bloody door is frustrating, mixed with finding out she's been getting out the room I will definitely be getting to the bottom of this. Why can her needs be met 2 days a week but not for the third, she hasn't changed they have.

OP’s posts: |
InMySpareTime Thu 30-Aug-12 07:47:11

I would suggest to the manager that if the staff member is unable to work with your DD, it is the staff member who leaves the room, even if only for that day. Suggest the staff member works with the key worker to best meet your DD's needs.
The staff member is being very unprofessional here, and needs retraining in inclusion and partnership with parents.

Happyharriet Fri 31-Aug-12 14:23:06

Hi, I am appalled at this - I am a nursery owner and if any of my staff had handled this situation in this way there would be merry h+ll to pay! Apart from anything else they are surely contravening Ofsted's statutory requirements regarding safety. When a child opened a door at my nursery there was a full investigation, Ofsted and parents were notified and as a result of the review the door and mechanisms were changed. Yes it cost money but that is the least of the problem and nothing compared to the safety of ALL the children attending.

AnaIsAlwaysShocked Tue 04-Sep-12 10:41:16

Just wanted to update.

I had a phone conversation with the duty manager on Thursday and basically told DD2 wasn't escaping but was reaching for the door often and swinging so, was needing a member of staff to remove her from the door. From what was implied this member of staff is pregnant and doesn't want to risk standing in the way of DD2 and getting injured. (DD2 doesn't lash out and has never been violent, she wouldn't have to coordination to do it). They were standing by the member of staffs decision not to have DD2 for her own health and safety issues. I told then that DD2 wouldn't create any extra H&S issues to the other risks in a nursery. Surely working in a nursery there is potential to get injured by a child accidentally. Also other staff on that day could take over DD2 care then there would be no risk of DD2 injuring the member of staff.

Also the door handle wouldn't be moved as it would just delay the issue rather than solve it (i.e. when DD2 got bigger it would happen again). To which I'm afraid to say I lost my cool, you can't assume DD won't improve and learn while she's growing to not do this and if there's a break in the behaviour she may forget all about it. So I rang the setting manager and arranged a meeting with the duty manager for the nursery day, owners and manager to "discuss" the issue.

Saturday night, we received a call from the owner asking to come round. He arrived later that night and basically told us that the duty manager and member of staff involved had been on FB discussing DD2 and not wanting her at the setting. They had spoken about DD negatively and without him saying too much have been creating this "fear of DD2 hurting her" to stop DD coming to nursery as they couldn't be bothered to put in the extra work DD2 required. He has spoken to DD2 key worker who confirms DD2 isn't aggressive and her door handle issue is easy to deal with and she is working with DD2 to try and stop it and distract her and she feels the risk of escape is very low so wants to work through it and use it to help explain risks and boundaries to DD2.

He has told me that the setting manager or himself were not aware of any issue about DD2 starting the full 3 days and it was a story entirely made up by these two, thinking I wouldn't take it further. DD2 key worker had been told by duty manager to inform me and that it had been agreed by the management team. Apparently after my phone call to the duty manager, I had got her spooked so she went off to tell the member of staff and left her FB account on which showed the messages and others printed them for the owner to see.

So all in all its suddenly become a huge thing and they are suspended at the moment. It looks like I was right about her views about DD2 and the door was just made up issue. Its a real shame as I now don't feel able to take DD2 to any nursery and have suddenly been hit hard about peoples views of SN DC.

OP’s posts: |
OpheliasWeepingWillow Tue 04-Sep-12 12:07:40

Well done OP. Please don't withdraw your daughter from the nursery. Those nursery workers are lazy jobsworths who don't deserve to look after your daughter. Bastards. Anyway. Kudos to the owner.

insancerre Wed 05-Sep-12 10:45:53

wow
It's not often I read a post that has me staring at the screen with my mouth open but that has shocked me.
Appalling behaviour from people who should know better. Inclusion and equality for all is a big part of working in early years and features very high on the agenda of all training courses.
Op, glad that you have raised this issue with the owner.
But please don't think that this is typical behaviour from those that work in early years because in my experience it isn't.

annalovesmrbates Wed 05-Sep-12 13:09:35

Good grief, that is absolutely appalling. Thank goodness you have got to the bottom of it and their behaviour has been stopped.

annalovesmrbates Wed 05-Sep-12 13:09:36

Good grief, that is absolutely appalling. Thank goodness you have got to the bottom of it and their behaviour has been stopped.

TiggyD Wed 05-Sep-12 19:50:25

So you now know the owner and manager are good. I'd stay there.

ReallyTired Thu 06-Sep-12 13:43:11

AnaIsAlwaysShocked, I'm sorry you have been put through this. I hope the members of staff involved lose their jobs.

I hope you do take your dd to the nursery. I am sure that the replacement nursery nurses will be better. Such behaviour is rare among early years professionals.

Pochemuchka Thu 06-Sep-12 14:07:31

So sorry you've been through this. Please don't remove your DD though. I think the rest of the staff team sound great.

Your DD's keyworker, the owner - who has done exactly the right thing in suspending them - and their colleagues who were obviously so disgusted by the messages that they printed them off and gave them to him.

I hope those members of staff get what they deserve.

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